Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Old-Fashioned Fish Fry

Our friends invited us over for an old-fashioned fish fry last Saturday night. I wonder why, when someone invites us their home nowadays we say "old-fashioned" when describing a fish-fry. I don't know why we use that phrase, since you can get fish and chips in any restaurant. I think frying food has become such an unthinkable, unhealthy thing to do that no one wants to admit they do it, so they say its "old-fashioned."

Well guess what folks? It's really good that way!!  Fried was sooo good.

 oh...did I say "fish-fry"? eh-hem....let me get back to that.


Fish fries are extremely common in the United States and offer the perfect opportunity to gather with friends and family in a fun, social environment. Though spring and summer typically provides the best time to throw a fish fry, you can throw one any time as long as the weather is enjoyable.

While Googling to find info on fish-fries, I came across a lot of information about "Southern" Fish-fries" where they say Catfish is the way to go, that a real old-fashioned fish fry calls for catfish.

I don't know about that....I think the mid-west is famous for their fish-fries also. And how about Nevada? Okay, I might be stretching that a bit, as our friends are the only ones who have ever invited us to a fish-fry.....and they are from Minnesota.
So was the fish they brought home with them from vacation...Northern Pike. We fish fried with Northern Pike.
And Perch, which was caught in Nevada, in the Great Humboldt River.  We had a real fish-fry.


Here were a few other suggestions that I found:

Plan on serving all the classic side dishes. You'll want coleslaw, French fries and hush puppies. Have tartar sauce, hot sauce, cocktail sauce and lemon wedges on the side. For a truly authentic touch, fill bowls with raw onion slices and pickles.

Ice down lots of beer and gallons of sweet tea. You'll be hard pressed to find a Southern fish fry that doesn't include these beverages

Rent or buy a portable deep fat fryer. You'll be constantly cooking, so don't attempt this in a regular skillet.

Stay casual. A Southern fish fry is not a dress-up event. Use paper plates and plastic forks and knives. Have plenty of napkins available.

Top off the event with a yummy dessert, such as chocolate cake or lemon pie.

Honky Tonk music

We had lots of wine! And beer too. What we didn't have was sweet tea. Or tea of any kind. Lemonade? Maybe. Wine, beer and pop was on the menu for sure.

We did have a portable deep fat fryer. It worked perfect! And we did stay you can tell.

Yummy chocolate "no-bake" cookies for dessert.

We went back and forth on the music selection...Mitzi had country music on, but her husband kept changing it to classic rock. (I think in Minnesota, it wouldn't be honky tonk music anyway, but maybe the polka?)

And as for the side dishes? We didn't go "classic" or "authentic" if you follow the Southern Rules, but we did have some great sides, which I will share with you now.

Mitzi made a "Pepper Salsa" that while terrific, was very mild, so for those of you who are expecting "heat" with a name like "Pepper" Salsa, please don't be disappointed, because this salsa was oh-so-good.

Pepper Salsa

5 peppers chopped (you can combine, green, red, orange, yellow)
1 purple onion chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
1 bottle of Kraft Green Goddess Dressing mixed with
1 pkg ranch dressing
1 bag (pre-shredded) of Mexican cheese
cilantro (to taste)
You just mix it up and serve it with chips. T-Riffic!

And then my friend Mitzi made a relish, that was really good and served it along side the fish. It tasted fresh and crisp and really was a good compliment to fried fish. She also had lemons and tarter sauce, but this relish is what I had with my fish on Saturday night. was good. (I just didn't get a real good picture of it)  (see picture above, the same one that has the fried fish in it...the relish is on the left....  or in the picture of the salsa, the relish  is  right above, by the paper plates--it was really good.  Give it a try)

Orange-Fennel Relish

1 cup chopped-peeled orange
1/2 cup chopped fennel bulb
2 plum tomatoes chopped
3 T. finely diced red onion
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives cut in half
1 T. minced parsley
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 t. black pepper
Combine and let stand for several hours before serving.

And a few random photos of our Saturday night fish fry. You can see more photos here.

Fun new apron!
Mitzi, our Fish-Fry Hostess.



Karen said...

Sounds like fun! Love the new blog header... great picture! In fact, all the pics are good. I can't wait for my birthday so I can have a new camera, too! LOL

MM said...

I'd go to a fish fry (old-fashioned or new-fangled) no matter where it was held! Especially if it is as fun as this one looked to be.

Great apron!

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Looks like a grand time was had and y'all used Zatarain's!! :) I love a good fish fry - they are pretty common around this part of the south. We have a lot of Catholics so fried catfish is a common menu items at local restaurants on Fridays, and the fish fry gathering seems to be used a lot for every kind of festival and fund raiser there is. Fried catfish, french fries, coleslaw, potato salad, biscuits, hush puppies and yes, sweet tea! And you're right, at least down this way it's always catfish.

Love that apron too LOL!!!

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